How Will A Jury Value Your Injuries?
If you have a personal injury case, and it goes to trial, a jury will be the group of people that ultimately decide what your injury is worth and the level and extent of damages that you sustained. But how do they do that? How do they know what your injuries are “worth?”
The Countable Items of Damage
Some things that the jury will value are somewhat obvious. For example, if you have $20,000 in medical bills, the jury generally knows that if it does feel that the defendant did something wrong, the value of that element of damages is $20,000.
The same goes for almost any kind of “countable” damage, like lost wages, or future medical expenses.
But things get more difficult with damage elements like pain and suffering anxiety, or loss of the quality or enjoyment of life, all damages that you may be able to obtain in a personal injury case. These items don’t have a countable “price tag” the way medical expenses do. How does a jury value these elements of damages?
There is no handbook or guideline that gives jurors some baseline to value cases. There is nothing that says PTSD is worth this damage amount and depression is worth that amount. Additionally, jurors do not get to see what other juries, in similar cases have awarded—nor is one jury legally bound to follow what another jury did in an identical case.
What a Jury Will Look at and Consider
Juries will value these items based on a few factors.
Your own testimony will be very persuasive; a jury will look at what you say, and how you describe your injuries, your pain, and how your injuries have affected your daily life. A jury will want to see that your pain is genuine and that your disabilities are serious enough to impact your life, things that best come from your mouth, as the victim.
Likewise, testimony of friends or family will go a long way towards telling the jury how your injuries have affected your life.
Your own doctor will testify. Although your doctors can’t always say how your particular injury has affected your particular life, by describing your procedures, how you presented to them, and the general pain level that people suffer during recovery, doctors can give juries insight into how to value your injuries.
Juries will also often assume that people who go to the doctor do so because they are in pain. That’s why it is so important for you to get treatment for your injuries. Your medical records will document the things you told your doctor through the course of treating for your injuries, and that information will also be considered by a jury.
Do you know what to expect in your personal injury case? Our Boston personal injury lawyers can explain the whole process to you and help you through it. Call us today at The Law Office of Joseph Linnehan, Jr. at 617-275-4200 for help with your personal injury case.